Politics and International Relations
The purpose of this panel is to explore how minority exclusion has begun to open up fresh political fault lines within several Asian democracies. In particular, India and the Philippines, in recent years, have witnessed an unprecedented spurt in state encouraged or supported attacks on minority populations through extrajudicial measures and vigilant led activism. Duterte’s ‘Drug War’ and the Modi government’s support to ‘Gau Rakshaks’ (Cow protectors) have already taken a toll not only in terms of lives lost but, critically as well, in effectively undermining many of the safeguards that previously protected minority populations. Our panel will not only review the existing scholarship on this highly charged subject but will also debate how the alarming increase in such state backed anti-minority actions are impacting the quality of democracy in these Asian countries.
Levitsky and Ziblatt in How Democracies Die (2018), argue that ‘democracy’s assassins use the very institutions of democracy - gradually, subtly, and even legally - to kill it.’ (p.8) After the cold war, the crisis of liberal democracy is expressed as being ‘Illiberal Democracy’ by Zakaria (1997). Levitsky and Way (2002) describe the authoritarian regimes which have democratic elements as ‘Competitive Authoritarianism’. While hybrid regimes have been existing for long, what we are witnessing is that these regimes are becoming majority. In other words, the distinction between democracy and authoritarianism is fast blurring and raises questions about whether culturally diverse societies can survive under conditions of majoritarianism. To highlight and discuss these new conceptual, political and research challenges, this panel will explore as its case examples the recent happenings in India and the Philippines.
Nakamizo’s paper analyzes the working and claims for cow protection by vigilante groups in India, who have been particularly active in lynching Muslims in India. Neyazi’s paper analyses the minds of Muslim minorities by focusing on the issues of trust in democratic institutions by Muslim minority from using the data from the 2014 elections studies. Tak’s paper focuses on Muslim politics in Kashmir by debating and outlining the broader context of political consciousness. Kusaka’s paper analyzes the structure of Duterte’s ‘Drug War’ in Philippines, by focusing on ‘social bandit-like morality’, the creation of ‘good citizens’ and the ‘immoral others’. Lastly, Imamura will compare and draw links between the current minority exclusion debates in India and the Philippines with similar contexts in Indonesian politics.